DIY Liver Testing Kit Targets Drinkers

Drinkers will now be able to use a DIY test to see if their liver has been damaged by their alcohol consumption.

LiverCheck is the first home blood liver test to be made available in the UK. The test works by measuring levels of two enzymes, which leak into the blood from liver cells damaged by excessive alcohol consumption.

Those who take the test send a sample of their blood to a laboratory and the results will be sent back within a week.

The results are colour-coded and anyone with a dark amber or red result will be urged to urgently reduce their drinking or stop completely.

Dr Rajiv Jalan, from University College London, said that the test would help save lives. He said: "If someone knew they were going to get liver disease, they would do something about it."

However, the British Liver Trust expressed concerns that positive test results could encourage over-indulgence in alcohol.

According to recent figures, more than 8,200 people in Britain died from drinking in 2004, compared with just over 4,000 in 1991.

LiverCheck costs £100 and will be available online and by telephone order.


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